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Celtics vs Warriors: how many teams have come back from 3-2 in the NBA Finals?

If they are to pull of the unthinkable it will take more than just grit and determination, but the good news is it’s been done before.

Update:
Celtics vs Warriors: how many teams have come back from 3-2 in the NBA Finals?
EZRA SHAWAFP

On Monday night the Warriors put themselves within touching distance of an NBA championship, but that’s not to say that all is lost for the Celtics. At least history says there is still a chance so let’s take a closer look.

Is it Andrew Wiggins’ Warriors?

With Steph Curry visibly struggling in Game 5 - he went 0-9 from three point distance - many wondered where the Warriors offensive production would come from. Indeed, one of the major criticisms leveled at the Warriors so far has been that the team relies to heavily on Curry. Yet it would appear that Andrew Wiggins didn’t get the memo. Wiggins was immense on Monday night as yet again he made a claim for being the second best player on the Warriors roster and probably in the series overall. With his 26 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and a block across an incredible 43 minutes, he also took on the task of guarding Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and you can believe that he did. There was also the matter of a monstrous dunk which was the cherry on top of what was a sensational performance by the former No. 1 Draft pick. “We don’t get more excited than when Wiggs dunks on somebody and mean mugs him,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said after the game. “And that really uplifts the whole team and the Bay Area.”

Can the Celtics come back?

With the Golden State now up 3-2 in the series and no margin for error, the Celtics truly have their backs against the wall. That being said this is a team that has shown grit and an ability to adapt on the fly. Given that they will have home court advantage for Thursday night’s Game 6, expect Boston to come out firing when the action tips off. What’s more is that one could say the Celtics actually have comebacks in their DNA having done so on varying occasions in NBA history. Of course if they are to do what actually has been done before - overturn a 3-2 deficit - it will most definitely require the likes of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum stepping up to the plate in a way that they have not been able to in this series so far.

What NBA teams have come back from 3-2 down?

While it may seem hard to believe, there are actually a collection of teams in the NBA’s history which have managed to stare the possibility of a championship lost in the face and refuse to accept it. Incidentally the Golden State Warriors are one of the teams that unfortunately had to bare witness to such a feat and as recently as 2016. One can imagine they will be in no hurry to let such deed be accomplished again on their watch. None the less we’ve compiled a list of those ‘never say die’ teams that managed to not just turn things around at 2-3 down, but actually go on to win it all at 4-3:

YearWinning TeamOpponentRound
1955Syracuse NationalsDetroit PistonsNBA Finals
1962Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersNBA Finals
1969Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersNBA Finals
1978Washington BulletsSeattle SupersonicsNBA Finals
1994Houston RocketsNew York KnicksNBA Finals
2010Los Angeles LakersBoston CelticsNBA Finals
2013Miami HeatSan Antonio SpursNBA Finals
2016Cleveland CavaliersGolden State WarriorsNBA Finals
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